9 Park Street, Boston, MA
Built in 1999, renovated in 2008
By the time Barbara Lynch decided to open her own restaurant, she already had a loyal clientele of foodies who had followed her from Figs to Rocco’s to Galleria Italiano. Now that she was on her own we could help her create the kind of total dining experience that Barbara’s clientele had come to expect from her food: inventive, but with a strong sense of tradition.
The restaurant is on the the ground floor of a building that was originally built as a mansion for a shipping magnate. The building has a checkered past—in the middle of the housewarming party for the new house, in 1804, the owner learned that one of his ships sank and he was financially ruined. Shortly thereafter, the house was split into two (still extremely large) houses but even in it’s diminished state, the ground and 2nd floor had to be built out to the street and given over to retail space. Over the years, this space was home to a number of retail ventures, the last two being a coffee shop and a discount shoe store. By the time Barbara took over the space, it was in dire need of a total overhaul. The storefront was badly deteriorated, half of it had been torn down in the 50’s and replaced with pink terrazzo. We re-designed the storefront to approximate it’s original look, while accommodating more current issues like ADA requirements.
The interior of the restaurant is designed to work with the chef’s food to create a dining experience unique in Boston. In a moment when soaring height was the key attribute of most new restaurants, we used the height constraint to our advantage. The low ceilings conspire with the Beacon Hill context to make the restaurant feel intimate. Mahogany walls, terrazzo floors, velvet banquettes, and beaded chandeliers give the restaurant a kind of design ambiguity, rather than a theme. Employing an eclectic sensibility, we strove for a sense of elegance made up of many references but no specific one—we strove to create a look particular to No 9 Park.
This was the first of many projects that we have since designed for Barbara Lynch Gruppo.